2:07 PM, May 27, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
At a ceremony marking Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery, President Barack Obama said that most Americans are able to remain unaffected by war.
"[D]uring World War II, millions of Americans contributed to the war effort -- soldiers like my own grandfather; women like my grandmother, who worked the assembly lines. During the Vietnam War, just about everybody knew somebody -- a brother, a son, a friend -- who served in harm’s way," Obama said at the ceremony.
The president continued:
"Today, it’s different. Perhaps it’s a tribute to our remarkable all-volunteer force, made up of men and women who step forward to serve and do so with extraordinary skill and valor. Perhaps it’s a testament to our advanced technologies, which allow smaller numbers of troops to wield greater and greater power. But regardless of the reason, this truth cannot be ignored that today most Americans are not directly touched by war."
The president further explained:
As a consequence, not all Americans may always see or fully grasp the depth of sacrifice, the profound costs that are made in our name -- right now, as we speak, every day. Our troops and our military families understand this, and they mention to me their concern about whether the country fully appreciates what’s happening. I think about a letter I received from a Naval officer, a reservist who had just returned from a deployment to Afghanistan. And he wrote me, “I’m concerned that our work in Afghanistan is fading from memory.” And he went on to ask that we do more to keep this conflict “alive and focused in the hearts and minds of our own people.”
10:02 AM, May 27, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
On this Memorial Day, as on others, every American will turn to his own thoughts and prayers, and recall his own favorite speeches, music, and poetry. Memorial Day has no one dominant "text." But for those who aren't familiar with it, I recommend Theodore O'Hara's poem, "Bivouac of the Dead," written in 1847 in memory of Kentucky troops killed in the Mexican War. Various lines are inscribed at different places in Arlington Cemetery, including at the McClellan Gate. It's not, I suppose, great poetry, but I've always found it moving.
7:06 PM, May 28, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
MSNBC host Chris Hayes has issued an apology one day after saying on national television that he is "uncomfortable" with calling fallen soldiers "heroes."
4:21 PM, May 28, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
President Obama, an avid follower of left-wing media, is surely aware of the controversial remark by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who explained yesterday, in a discussion of Memorial Day on MSNBC, that he felt “uncomfortable” using the word “hero” for an American killed in battle:
12:39 PM, May 28, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Over the weekend, MSNBC host Chris Hayes told his viewers that he's "uncomfortable" with calling "war dead and the fallen ... 'heroes.'" Now, the Veterans of Foreign Wars group have responded by saying that Hayes's comments "are reprehensible and disgusting" and are asking for the MSNBC host to apologize.
12:00 AM, May 28, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
A fair number of Americans would probably tell you that Memorial Day is held to celebrate the Indy 500. And, even those who are aware of why, actually, the day has been set aside tend to honor it in the breech, if at all. On my way, every year, to the service in our town, I am struck by how many more cars are parked near the golf course than in the church parking lot.
But that, of course, is one of the glories of America.
10:29 AM, May 27, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Paul Mirengoff at Powerline has a post in his series, "This Day in Baseball History," reminding us that it was fifty years ago yesterday, May 26, 1962, that the Detroit Tigers defeated the Yankees 2-1 at Yankee Stadium:
10:54 AM, May 30, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Barack Obama named nominees of new military brass today, on Memorial Day, for the positions of chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, vice chair of the Joint Chiefs, and chief of staff of the Army. USA Today reports:
12:00 AM, May 29, 2011 • By AMY A. KASS and LEON R. KASS
American identity, character, and civic life are shaped by many things, but decisive among them are our national memories—of our long history, our triumphs and tragedies, our national aspirations and achievements. Crucial to the national memory are the words our forebears wrote, to show us who we are and what we might yet become. Robust citizenship is impossible without national attachment. National attachment is thin at best without national memory. And national memory depends on story, speech, and song.
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